back to site

Introduction by Jan Woolf

When Alan Share commissioned me to edit his formidable 90,000 word blog - Death of a Nightingale - I thought - blimey, how can one man write so much about the SEN inclusion debate. But I was soon made aware of the passion, richness and erudition of this virtual magnum opus. Passion and well researched argument do not often go together, and what follows is a pared down, essential account of his credo around SEN which often goes to the heart of the complexities of human rights, and touches on another of his passions – music.

The two elements I especially identified with were the exposure of the corruption of much of our language around SEN, and the strong advocacy for those who are different getting what they need.

While I won't agree with all, and might argue with some of his ideas, I have kept Alan's voice throughout. Most importantly, I know I’d want him on my side if I had a ‘need’ that was ‘special’ enough to warrant ‘exclusion’ from a world I might find threatening. Anxiety is one of the greatest barriers to learning, and Alan Share’s deeply compassionate approach to children with SEN should be listened to.